It's a familiar story on the recruiting circuit of how Melvin Booker cut short his professional playing career to work with his son. "I saw that Devin had special talent to be a basketball player," he said.
To make the most of this potential, Devin Booker left his mother, their home in Grand Rapids, Mich., and everything that was familiar to him. At his father's urging, he moved to Moss Point, Miss., to begin 10th grade and expand his basketball horizons.
When asked about his son having the gumption to make such a move at such a vulnerable age, Melvin Booker said, "It wasn't easy, now. I had to do a lot of selling and a lot of politicking."
The elder Booker, once the Big Eight Player of the Year as a guard for Missouri, had to explain to his son and his son's mother what basketball rewards were possible.
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"He couldn't see four or five years down the road," the father said. "His mom saw he had talent, but she couldn't see four or five years down the road.
"I just told her, 'Hey, trust me. It's going to work out.'"
Of course, Devin Booker is one of Kentucky's heralded freshmen this coming season. It worked out.
Besides being an assistant coach on the high school and AAU teams, the elder Booker became his son's trainer, his advisor, his strength coach, his mentor, his basketball guru.
"We spent countless hours in the gym," Devin Booker said.
His father estimated six, seven or eight hours some days.
"He was like a sponge," the father said. "Got everything I said. Worked hard. Worked extremely hard. Never complained about anything. He's at the University of Kentucky."
Booker came to UK billed as a shooter. "He's a basketball player," UK Coach John Calipari corrected.
But since shooting is the sport's most elemental and compelling component, it commands great attention. When Booker made only 11 of 32 shots in UK's exhibition games in the Bahamas, perhaps an eyebrow or two raised.
"He settled a little too much for jumpers," Calipari said. "Didn't dominate as much as he could have. But he was trying to feel it out."
Booker shrugged it off.
"You know, shooters go through their slumps," he said. "But I've always been told shooters never stop shooting. That's what I'm going to do. I'll have to get in the gym more and keep practicing. That's the least of my worries. I know my shot will fall. I want to focus on other things."
Booker said his father taught him the fundamentals of shooting. "It's my second nature now," he said. "If you have mechanics and confidence, shooting is easy."
His father is living proof. Though no longer playing and on the far side of 40, he can still shoot.
"People see him as a point guard, but I've seen some crazy things," Booker said of his father. "We do compete sometimes. He'll run off 30 in a row."
The elder Booker spoke of his shooting touch as teaching through example.
"Devin is one of those kids, you have to show him instead of just talking about what you used to do," he said. "I keep myself in shape. I used to get out there and compete with him and battle with him and give him some pointers while I was out there."
The father said he might throw an elbow or insist on a foul call just to test his son's resolve.
"I'll see if he's going to back down," the elder Booker said. "When he felt he was right, he'd make his call and he'd stand by his call.
"Those were things that told me he'll be all right and he'll stand up for himself."